Phil Neville has denied he’s sexist and has apologised for his controversial tweets after being unveiled as England Women’s new head coach today.
The former Manchester United and Everton defender was confirmed as Mark Sampson’s permanent replacement last week after signing a deal until 2021. However his appointment was shrouded by controversy after sexist tweets from 2012 emerged before he deleted his twitter account.
Neville said: “I’m not a sexist. I’ve lived my life right. I think people who know me, know that it is not a true reflection of my character. I apologise whole-heartedly for the words that I used.”
His tweets had joked about domestic violence and also implied that women should be busy in the kitchen and looking after children.
Anti discrimination group Kick it Out had condemned Neville and questioned his appointment after expressing “serious concerns” over the recruitment process. Despite this the FA refused to charge the 41-year-old although they promised to warn and educate him.
Many critics argued that Neville had a lack of experience in the women’s game and wanted the FA to appoint a woman who has a better knowledge of the sport. However he has a UEFA pro license and has been an assistant coach at Manchester United and Valencia, so he insists that he is the right man for the job.
Neville said: “I’ve done all of my qualifications, I cannot be more qualified for this job than what I am. I would have thought that not many candidates that applied for the job have the experience that I’ve got of coaching elite players.”
The new coach met his squad at a training camp in Spain last week and will get his first taste of management in the She Believes Cup in America in March where England face France, Germany and America.